Skip to main content
15th October 2017

Black Sheep Brewery named ‘Beer Champion’ of the year by British Beer & Pub Association

(L-R) Phil Douglas, Head Brewer at Black Sheep Brewery, Rob Theakston, Managing Director of Black Sheep Brewery, and Alan Hinkes OBE

Black Sheep Brewery is celebrating after being recognised by a leading pub trade body for its commitment to supporting the industry.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has named the Masham-based brewery its Beer Champion 2017 at the BBPA’s Annual Dinner. The Beer Champion Award recognises companies that have successfully sought to promote, improve and celebrate beer.

The BBPA is the leading body representing brewers and pub companies from across the UK.

The accolade was presented in recognition of the range of activities organised by Black Sheep to celebrate its 25th anniversary year. This included the brewery developing a number of seasonal and permanent beers to its range over the course of 2017, most notably Black Sheep’s first-ever lager, 54 Degrees North, to mark the occasion.

This latest award success for Black Sheep follows on from its sweep at the World Beer Awards during the summer, where it won four accolades. Black Sheep’s Choc & Orange Stout was the UK winner in its category, while Riggwelter, Black Sheep Ale and My Generation took home Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, respectively.

Jo Theakston, Sales and Marketing Director at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by the BBPA, which is the true voice of our industry and does so much to look after beer and pub companies’ interests. Our beers have continued to be enjoyed by so many drinkers across the country and we are proud to have taken home some many awards this year, with the BBPA’s recognition being the icing on the cake.

“2017 marks a special year for Black Sheep as we have celebrated our 25th anniversary year by creating new, innovative brews, while recognising the importance of some of our flagship brands.”

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Huge congratulations to all our winners, and a big thank you to all those who submitted entries. We have had another great showcase of all we are achieving in our industry, in working to keep beer and pubs at the heart of our social lives and central to the UK economy.”


CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436

Editor’s Notes:

The Black Sheep Brewery in Masham made its first beer in 1992 after being built up by Paul Theakston, whose family had brewed in the area for six generations.

In a world of ever increasing bland, mass-produced beer Paul saw an opportunity to return to what his family had done best since 1827, making real beer in the time-honoured fashion.

An old maltings building, once part of Lightfoot’s Brewery became the Brewery’s home. This landmark building, which stands high over the banks of the Ure, had fallen in to disrepair as years of neglect as a semi-redundant grainstore had taken its toll. Paul assembled a small team around him to fight the rats and build a traditional country brewery.

The Black Sheep Brewery name derived from Masham’s association with sheep, but ‘Sheep Brewery’ didn’t quite sound right, so with a little creativity from Paul’s wife the Black Sheep Brewery was born, a name that sat well with the area, spoke volumes about the maverick attitude to the multi-nationals seeking to dominate the brewing industry and captured the essence of the family struggle that led to our birth.

Black Sheep Ale at 4.4% ABV, now in an eco-friendly lightweight bottle, continues to maintain its presence among the top ten premium bottled ale brands, and is available nationwide from virtually all the major supermarket retailers. It is a classic premium bitter and as with all Black Sheep beers, full of character derived from the best possible brewing materials, plenty of time and patience in the brewing and our very special Yorkshire Square fermenters.

In 2014, Black Sheep Best Bitter, – Yorkshire’s best-selling cask ale – underwent a facelift to broaden its appeal among drinkers, evolving the look, while retaining all of the great taste that has made it an iconic brand.